THERE are several big changes coming up and dates you need to know about that could affect your finances.
We’ve rounded up what’s happening so you won’t be left out of pocket, including tax credit renewals, furlough changes and payment deadlines.
Tax credits renewal
If you claim tax credits, you should already have been contacted by the government about how to renew them.
You will need to provide details about any changes to your circumstances and you and your partner’s total income for the last tax year.
The deadline is Saturday, July 31 – and if you miss this there is a chance you could lose your tax credits eligibility.
If that happens you could end up having to pay back all of the tax credits you’ve received since April 6 this year.
But if you contact HMRC within 30 days of the cut off date your tax credit claim could be restored and you won’t have to pay anything back.
After 30 days, HMRC will ask you to explain the reason for the delay before restoring your claim.
If HMRC stops your payments you won’t be able to make a new claim.
You would then have to apply for Universal Credit or Pension Credit, if you’re above the state pension age.
TV licences for over 75s
Free TV licences for over 75s were axed last year but the transition period ends on July 31.
The only exception is for over 75s who receive Pension Credit, which is extra help for elderly people living on a low income.
If you don’t have a licence you can’t watch or record programmes as they’re being shown on TV, on any channel, or live on an online TV service.
You also can’t download or watch BBC programmes on BBC iPlayer – live, catch up or on demand.
This applies all devices including a TV, desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, tablet, games console or a digital box.
A standard colour TV Licence costs £159 and a black and white one will set you back £53.50.
If you are blind or severely sight impaired you can apply for a 50% discount, so a colour licence will cost £79.50.
Covid payment holidays end
Borrowers were given the option to pause payments on their debts during the coronavirus pandemic.
This applied to many mortgages, credit cards and personal loans.
Homeowners were able to press pause on their mortgage payments for up to six months from the start of the pandemic in March last year to the end of July 2021.
The deadline to apply for a deferral was in March 2021 and payments will resume from July 31.
If you still need support to pay your mortgage, you should contact your lender.
They may offer you a further deferral, reduced payments, an extension to your mortgage term or a change to your mortgage type.
Another big change happening at the end of this month is that companies will have to pay more towards the wages of furloughed employees.
Firms will have to foot more of the bill for anyone furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme from August 1.
The government contribution to staff salaries under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will reduce and the amount firms put in will rise.
The government will only pay 60% of furloughed workers’ wages up to a maximum cap of £1,875.
Your company will have to pay the remaining 20% so that you still get 80% of your wage in total.
Unfortunately you could miss out on cash if your employer was voluntarily paying extra.
Self-assessment tax bill deadline
For anyone who is self-employed or who declares other income through self-assessment, the second instalment of tax bills are due.
Saturday, July 31 is the deadline for “payment on account” bills.
Payments on account are two advance payments that most self-assessed taxpayers must make each year in order to settle their tax bills.
Each payment is based on half of your previous year’s tax bill, but you can apply to lower them if you think your tax bill will be substantially lower.
With Covid hitting many people’s pockets, it’s worth checking if you could be paying less this year.
You’ll need to apply for a reduction though – you can’t just not pay.
You can do this by calling HMRC via a Form SA303 or through your HMRC online account, according to accountancy firm Blick Rothenberg.
Some people have been able to defer their payment on account because of Covid and may have a longer period of time to pay.
Shoppers have been urged to not panic-buy as shelves in Tesco, Lidl and Sainsbury’s are stripped bare amid ‘pingdemic’ shortages.
Millions of people claiming benefits could be missing out on thousands of pounds from a saving bonus.
Hundreds of thousands of self-employed workers are facing a raid on taxes due to Treasury plans to shake up the tax returns system.